This motherboard is an excellent choice for people interested in virtualization, remote management options, and a highly stable and compatible system. With the right (non-K) processor, it supports pretty much every virtualization option available out of the box. I don't use a bare metal hypervisor, but this board has wide compatibility with them.
The UEFI BIOS is simple to use and mouse-compatible. The UEFI also behaves itself with keyboards and mice hooked up through hubs, where some motherboards simply don't work correctly with mice and keyboards that aren't hooked up to a root hub.
Out-of-band VNC support over the second LAN connection also allows for the unusual flexibility of remote UEFI/BIOS management, disk recovery, OS installs, etc. Great option for completely headless installs. There's also a license for VNC Viewer Plus in the box, which costs about $100 new (don't throw out the driver CD!).
This board also has a legacy, native PCI slot that is NOT bridged from the PCI Express bus. Virtually every other vendor out there, if they still have any PCI slots (itself quite rare now on a MicroATX form factor board), are now using PCI Express bridges to provide the PCI interface. If you have a legacy PCI card you need to use, this board is one of few options you have to upgrade to a modern machine and be reasonably assured your PCI card will still work correctly.
The board has native IEEE1394 support, eSATA, USB2 and USB3 panel connections, and even a header for a legacy serial port.
The included drivers and monitoring software are actually pretty good, too. The hardware monitoring software for Windows can monitor virtually everything you can in UEFI (including setting limit values) and is not garish or ugly.
The only thing I don't like about the board is the use of a few electrolytic capacitors on the board - I would have preferred other types given the history of problems with them in the last decade, but the board is dead stable for me thus far. This is also not an overclockers board. If you just want something that works and works well, you can't go wrong.
I've built a lot of computers with hardware from Asus, Shuttle, and several others. This motherboard was the quickest & easiest to configure. The BIOS options are flexible, BIOS updates can be done from the BIOS itself without needing any bootable media and just a flash drive for loading the new image.
I built this as a UNIX workstation and to run various VMs with VirtualBox. I installed 32GB of G.SKILL Sniper DDR3 1600 memory and an i7-3770 CPU. That particular memory can run at its full potential on this motherboard by simply choosing the XMP profile for it from within the BIOS.
And for those interested, it runs Solaris 11.0 flawlessly. Since native SATA 3 & USB 3 support didn't come until Solaris 11.1, those controllers are still fully functional as their version 2 variants on this motherboard. Or install 11.1 once some new USB bugs are resolved.... It also runs FreeBSD/PC-BSD 9.1 fine, and I'm sure most modern(ish) Linux & Windows operating systems.
I have three HDs installed in a ZFS mirror internal to an NZXT Vulcan case, an external SATA dock, and an additional SiI 3132 controller for more eSATA ports if needed. I don't care for the integrated video, so added an NVidia video card. With the requisite internal DVD burner and an internal card reader, this is all nicely outfitted for my particular needs.
Solid board, especially as it allows for complete remote management via Intel vPro/AMT. AFAIK it is the only vPro enabled 7 series board that is standard ATX format. The other (DQ77KB) is thin/SFF board that uses SODIMM RAM, etc.
For a uATX board, it has all the connectivity that could be needed: 6GB eSATA, USB3, Dual GigE, and even high Amp USB charging ports. If you are not interested in the vPro/AMT/Remote Management features (discussion below), you'll be good to go with Gen3 Core processors immediately.
The only hangup is that earlier vPro boards had a BIOS menu for configuration (MEBx) but v8 uses software only via installed OS or SCS (See: [...]). Most searches (Google/Bing) do not reveal this tidbit, so AMT does work, but configuration method changed considerably.
Installation is a snap and the board is well labeled and documentation is good (save the AMT/vPro detail above). The software includes RealVNC Viewer Plus that can connect to control Power/KVM/virtual media once AMT is configured (Again see above). This software is $100 a copy otherwise, so it is an even better value than I thought originally, since I planned to buy VNC+ separately.
Documentation recommends a 350W PSU minimum, but I suspect that a uATX case with a 150W would work if HE/LV (S-series, 65W vs 77W TDP) Core i5-3450 CPU and SSD were all that was installed.
I'm using this in a (home) server class system to run virtual machines and it's got everything I want. The vPro feature is excellent once you get it working.
I took off a star because the BIOS appears, to me, to be impossible to ever update. None of the update tools work and I blew out one motherboard already trying to do it. I gave up, but I don't think it needs any BIOS updates, it works perfectly on the current BIOS for my needs.
I have four of these and all of them are super stable with Windows and FreeBSD. Besides the stability, this board comes with TWO INTEL (not RealTek!) NICs, which is very convenient for using as a server. Also, this is very energy efficient. Its idle power consumption is only 21W with no additional PCI cards. Anyway, I like this board very much.
This was purchased to replace an older board for a system running VMware vSphere 5.1U1. There is one thing you need to know if you intend to run VMware on this. The default VMware drivers will only detect 1 of the 2 network cards. To get the 2nd one working, following the directions from here: http://virtual-drive.in/2012/11/16/enabling-intel-nic-82579lm-on-intel-s1200bt-under-esxi-5-1/ After following those instructions, everything was working perfectly.